Southwest Airlines has become one of the most popular airlines in the United States thanks to free checked bags, no change fees, and no cancellation fees.
While other airlines have tacked on fees for bags and some crushing change and cancellation fees, Southwest Airlines hasn’t given in…and they’ve only made customers even happier.
If you fly Southwest often (or want to start doing so), it might be worth looking into the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card. Here we’ll discuss some of this card’s benefits so you can make an informed decision on whether it’s right for you.
Note that like many credit cards provided by Chase, the Southwest Plus card is impacted by the Chase 5/24 rule, so make sure you are eligible to be approved before deciding to apply.
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Southwest Rapid Rewards Benefits
Southwest Airlines not only serves major airports, but they service many smaller airports as well. Additionally, they are a great way to visit Mexico, the Caribbean, or Central America.
Earn More Rapid Rewards Points
The amount of Rapid Rewards points you’ll earn from your flights with Southwest Airlines is determined by the price of your ticket (excluding taxes and fees). Southwest has 3 fare types that each earn a specific number of points per dollar spent.
The most common and cheapest type is Southwest’s famous Wanna Get Away fare. When you book one of these tickets, you will earn 6 points per dollar spent. If you book an Anytime fare, you will earn 10 points per dollar spent. Finally, Business Select fares will earn you 12 points per dollar spent.
If you have A-List status, you will earn a bonus of 25% Rapid Rewards points on top of the standard earning. With A-List Preferred status, you’ll earn a 100% bonus.
To earn even more Rapid Rewards points, you can use your Southwest Plus card. Between 12/1/2020 and 3/31/2021, you’ll earn 5 points per $1 spent on Southwest purchases, up to $2,000 spent per month. After that, you’ll earn 2X points per dollar spent on Southwest purchases.
You’ll also earn 2 points per $1 spent with participating hotel and car rental partners, and 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
This can give anyone a nice boost of Rapid Rewards points! But if you’re a regular traveler with Southwest Airlines and have A-List or A-List Preferred status, you’ll really ramp up your earning.
All other purchases made with your card will earn 1X Rapid Rewards points per dollar spent, so you’ll always be earning — even on purchases outside of Southwest.
Hot Tip: Check out two of our articles on earning more points: the best ways to earn tons of Rapid Rewards points and how to earn stacks of Southwest points without even flying!
Earn the Companion Pass Faster
One of the most highly sought after perks among those who like to travel is the Southwest Companion Pass. With the Companion Pass, you can designate a companion who can join you on all of your flights for only the cost of the taxes and fees.
It doesn’t matter if you book an award flight with Rapid Rewards points or if you book a cash ticket — either way, your companion can come with you for next to nothing. With the ability to book 2 tickets for the price of 1 (in cash or points), it’s no surprise that this is such a popular perk!
To earn the Companion Pass, you must earn 125,000 Rapid Rewards points in a calendar year. Once you do so, the Companion Pass is valid for the remainder of the year in which you earned it plus the following year. This means earning the pass early in the year can provide you with the Companion Pass benefit for even longer.
With the help of the Southwest Plus card, you can earn the Companion Pass even quicker. The card comes with a hefty sign-up bonus if you meet the minimum spending requirement within the stated timeframe, which can get you off to a fast start. Check the details of the latest offer to see the current sign-up bonus and requirements.
Thanks to the sign-up bonus, the first year you try to earn the Companion Pass will be a bit easier…but regular Southwest flyers can then use the pass to help earn it again year after year.
Note that since April 5, 2018 you cannot get both Southwest consumer cards at the same time. You also cannot get a second if you already have one of the cards or have received a new cardmember bonus on either card in the last 24 months. This rule does not apply to the Southwest business card.
Hot Tip: Learn more about how you can use the Southwest Companion Pass.
Annual Bonus Rapid Rewards Points
When you have the Southwest Plus card, you will also receive an annual bonus of 3,000 Rapid Rewards points when your cardmember anniversary hits. These extra points can help you book your next award ticket for a great vacation with Southwest Airlines!
Rapid Rewards Don’t Expire
The Rapid Rewards points in your account typically expire after 24 months of inactivity. However, as long as you keep your Southwest Plus card account open, your points will not expire — so you don’t have to worry if you’re unable to use them because of life’s circumstances.
Hot Tip: Looking for more options? Check out these credit cards that are perfect for Southwest Airlines flyers.
When traveling, you might run into unforeseen obstacles that cause all kinds of trouble. With the Southwest Plus card, you are protected from some of these annoyances.
Baggage Delay Insurance
First up, baggage delay insurance. If your bags are delayed by more than 6 hours, you can be reimbursed for the purchase of some eligible essential items like clothing and toiletries.
The baggage delay insurance benefit covers up to $100 per day for 3 days. Make sure you check the terms and conditions of the benefit to ensure your purchases will be covered.
To be eligible for this benefit, you must have purchased the flight with your Southwest Plus card.
Lost Luggage Reimbursement
If your luggage is not only delayed but lost, you could be eligible for reimbursement as well. This is obviously a much more serious situation, and the coverage is much more comprehensive.
This benefit will reimburse you and immediate family members for lost or damaged checked and carry-on bags. Each passenger is eligible for $3,000 of coverage.
You must purchase the flight with your Southwest Plus card to be eligible for this benefit.
The Southwest Plus card also provides some protections on purchases you make with the card.
Extended Warranty Protection
If you purchase something with a warranty of no more than 3 years, you could be eligible for an additional year of coverage thanks to your Southwest Plus card.
You can make a claim of up to $10,000 and a maximum total of $50,000 per account.
You must make at least part of the purchase with your Southwest Plus card to be eligible for this benefit. Make sure you check the terms and conditions of this benefit to ensure your purchase will be covered.
With the purchase protection benefit, your purchases could be covered from theft or damage for up to 120 days at no more than $500 per claim. This benefit is available up to $50,000 per account.
You must make at least part of the purchase with your Southwest Plus card to be eligible for this benefit. Make sure you check the terms and conditions to ensure your purchase will be covered.
The Southwest Plus card provides an easy way to earn Rapid Rewards points, and it can even help you earn the Southwest Companion Pass to really take your award travel to the next level.
Consider how this card might fit your travel habits — you just might find yourself on vacation with a friend or family member thanks to a 2 for 1 flight from the Companion Pass!